The Linux Year

    Date24 Dec 2004
    CategoryLatest News
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    The year of the penguin, some people hailed 2004 at the turn of the year. And in many ways it was. Was it because the march on the server space continued at a relentless pace? Because there were big announcements around desktop installments? Because there was finally some realistic perspective about the threat from SCO, or the threat to Microsoft? However you look at it, the penguin's tux has never looked more pristine or ready for business. So here we'll take a stroll though the last 12 months that sharpened the creases and quickened the pace of the Linux-based platforms.

    The year kicked off to an announcement from Microsoft that became a refrain for the succeeding 12 months: Microsoft's argument that Windows is more secure, cheaper, more reliable etc ad nauseum, if you choose the right scenarios, configuration, workload and research groups: Redmond's 'Get the Facts' campaign.
    SCO launched into 2004 by opening fronts across the globe, promising litigation and licensing for its Unix intellectual property claims worldwide. Novell, having completed its SUSE buy, announced it was joining the ranks of Linux vendors offering indemnification against such claims.
    Then at New York's Linuxworld show, SCO ruffled Novell's new Linux plumage, filing its 'Slander of title' lawsuit, alleging that Novell's claims of residual ownership of elements of Unix had damaged its bid to license the platform.
    Other tidbits for the month included the formation of the 'Desktop Linux Working Group' by the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), SCO mails US members of Congress with its complaints, and puts a $250,000 on the head of the MyDoom author responsible for a subsequent DOS attack that took down SCO's website.

    Signs of the resurgent interest in Linux blossomed in February when French Linux vendor Mandrake announced it had a business plan that would steer it out of bankruptcy protection.
    SCO-wise, we saw it dropping key complaints in its case against IBM around trade secrets, but adding another that IBM had been selling Unix-based products even after it had terminated IBM's licence.
    In the PR war, the OSDL argued that Novell throwing doubts as to SCO's claims gives Linux users every reason to wait until the case is settled before agreeing any licence. Advice which, come SCO's quarterly results, many took wholeheartedly. For its part, Novell refuted SCO's claims saying it was impossible to claim damages if you can't establish ownership of the thing you claim is being damaged.
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